Elizabeth "Black Dahlia" Short and Primary Detective Assigned to Solve Her Murder Share Birthday- July 29th

July 29, 2019
Los Angeles, California

(Updated from original 2015 post)

Today is the shared birthday of Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short and the lead investigator in her kidnap/torture murder, Detective Finis Brown.

finis grave photo







es grave photo






In an ironic twist of fate both the murder victim and the prime detective assigned to investigate and solve her murder were born the same day–July 29th.¬†

Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 29, 1924 and slain in Los Angeles on January 15, 1947 at the age of just 22.

LAPD Detective Finis Brown, was born just 18 years before her birth on July 29, 1906. Detective Brown was the primary detective assigned to the Black Dahlia investigation and after retirement relocated to West, Texas, where he died in 1990 at the age of 84. (In another irony, the actual killer, Dr. George Hill Hodel, ¬†returned to the United States in 1990, after residing in Asia for forty-years. The killer’s relocation to San Francisco occurred just weeks prior to Finis Brown’s death. Dr. Hodel would live for another decade, and ultimately take his own life (pills) in May, 1999 in his penthouse suite in San Francisco.


Framed Blk Dahlia Color

Dahlia photo by crime author/photographer, Robert Sadler




  1. John Ayers on July 30, 2015 at 11:19 am

    I didn’t realize your dad took his own life. I read all your books. Did I overlook this?

    • Steve Hodel on July 30, 2015 at 11:56 am

      John A: Have mentioned it in numerous public talks and in my PowerPoint presentations. Thought I had in BDA II, but don’t see it, so guess not. June informed me that dad was writing R/X for Seconal for her to save up “just in case he needed them.” They checked out Euthanasia alternatives as at 90, with his Congestive Heart Failure getting worse, he feared having a stroke and burdening her with massive hospital costs and wanted to avoid that. A week before taking the pills he had seen his personal physician and they attempted electro shock therapy to try and reestablish a normal rhythm, which failed. (Mentioned in his letter to me in BDA I just a week before he died.) No autopsy required as his attending physician by law was in attendance numerous times in the month preceding his death and by CA law could and did sign the death certificate: Cause of Death, Congestive Heart Failure. Body was cremated, no toxicology, end of story. I doubt anyone, including his doctor knew what he had done. Just June. (To be clear. Dad’s suicide by pills was to rid him of the physical pain he was experiencing along with fear of the potential financial burden to June should he suffer a stroke. It was not out of any guilt or remorse for the many crimes he had inflicted upon humanity.)

      • Leanna on August 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm

        I’m currently reading BDA 1, and find it engrossing reading. The book brings life and depth to poor Elizabeth, far more than other books, or articles I’ve read. To think that your own father, could be the perpetrator, must be a very difficult thing to come to terms with. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. Best regards, Leanna

        • Steve Hodel on August 5, 2015 at 8:39 pm

          Hi Leanna: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, its been difficult. As you read the sequels you will be able to see deeper into my father’s personal crime-signature (Murder as a Fine Art) and see how it connects throughout the decades. In MOST EVIL we get a much clearer look into his personal insanity. Best Regards, Steve

          • Leanna on August 6, 2015 at 12:42 pm

            Nice to hear back from you. Thanks ? I find it somewhat amazing how the public has always had such a dark fascination for such a hideous crime. I too, find the Black Dahlia case interesting, but also, as a woman, I’m horrified at what happened to Elizabeth. It’s a woman’s worst nightmare, accept this actually happened. I think part of my fascination for the case stems from my own mother being in Hollywood during this era, pursuing an acting career that never really took off. The whole film noir period makes for intriguing reading. Too bad this is a real life horror story.

      • Ellece B Schmitz on August 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm

        I wasn’t aware that your dad did this. My grandmother did the exact same thing… while she was in the hospital for a long stay, at that. Somehow she actually managed to hoard enough pills right under her physicians’ noses, and the night before her next-day hospital release, she did her thing.

      • Lucas Pickford on August 10, 2019 at 2:33 am

        Yeah, exactly on that last part Steve. Didn’t GHH also suffer a heart attack of sorts in China when he was with UNNRA?

        • Steve Hodel on August 10, 2019 at 2:57 am

          Lucas P: Well that whole “heart attack” story is a bit fuzzy? He had rheumatic fever as a child which supposedly created heart complications, then in his old age post-80 he had arrhythmia but was always strong and powerful until age 70 he remained pretty much “white-hot.” June indicated his medical problem in China was “Malaria” which caused him to return, so ??? He claimed a “heart condition” during the incest trial, but I think that was mostly to gain sympathy from the jury.

  2. Leanna on August 10, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Steve, do you think there’s a chance your books will ever be made into a movie?

    • Steve Hodel on August 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Leanna: Hope so, but better served as a mini-series. Just too much material in the three books to try and condense into just two hours. Maybe a ten-part mini-series would be best? Regards, Steve

  3. Leanna on August 10, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    I was actually thinking a miniseries would work better before I asked you ?, though, I think a miniseries of that scope and magnitude wouldn’t probably get made, but at least a two or three night series would be possible. Huge budget miniseries like the ones produced in the 1980’s and ’90’s are kind of a thing of the past. Fingers crossed for you. ?

  4. Bob on September 1, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Hello Mr. Hodel, just finishing up your disturbing and convincing first book. In regards to the LAPD coverup, I have a rather morbid question, and I apologize if this seems crass: rather than just squash evidence and risk the coverup leaking out, why didn’t the LAPD have your father murdered? They could have made it look like a robbery, and that would have ended the risk. They certainly had the organized crime connections to get it done. And as cynical as it is, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been the first time a major police force took care of a “problem” this way. Just wondering if you ever pondered this possibility. Thanks for your work.

    • Steve Hodel on September 1, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Hi Bob: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed the read.
      Actually, that was one of my early considerations. Why not just take him out?
      But, then I realized that GHH was usually at least four or five chess moves ahead of his opponents and I am sure he took precautions to prevent that. Probably a letter or communication to the effect that, “should any harm come to my person, or should my death occur as the result of “an accident” or should I just “disappear” I have informed my attorney to make public and deliver to the local newspapers a letter. This letter “names names” places and events including certain “indiscretions” of individuals past and present in both city hall and police and sheriff’s Departments. I have provided him with the necessary medical files and related documents. I will be leaving the country and as long as no harm comes to me, this information shall forever remain “top secret.”

      I am certain, being an old extortionist himself, he would have made this or similar arrangements to be executed in case of his death.

      Stay tuned. New information about to be released. Best Regards, Steve

      • Karen on August 6, 2019 at 1:44 am

        Also many police officers protected him.
        By the way, hello Mr. Hodel.
        A question…this series “I am the night” is more fictional than a true story?
        Thank you. I write you from Chile.

        • Steve Hodel on August 6, 2019 at 1:50 am

          Karen: Yes, the I Am The Night miniseries is basically all FICTION.
          I had no connection with it and haven’t seen it. Just the trailer/promotional.
          But, Fauna never met my father in life and was never at the Franklin House until long after his death to visit the new owners.

          • Lucas Pickford on August 10, 2019 at 2:36 am


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